All or Nothing Ultimatums May Not Work When Selling a Coin Collection
In recent months, we’ve been approached by many collectors, executors and heirs of coin collections who have been interested in selling a coin collection. While we’re grateful for the many opportunities that have been afforded to us, the reality is that we can’t possibly purchase every collection that has been presented to us, or maybe better said, can’t purchase all of the items in each collection.
On the surface, it may appear that the role or responsibility of a coin dealer is to purchase coins or coin collections, no matter how appealing, but the reality is that there is only so much room and capacity.
Recently, we’ve been approached by a few folks that were interested in selling their coin collections but insisted on only selling the entire collection.
From a coin dealer’s perspective, we need to weigh the time involved, the expense, the dead inventory (items sitting on our shelves for months, if not years), available space, efficient use of staff, etc. All of these factors come into play as to whether the pursuit of a coin collection makes sense. While we understand that we’re not going to be ecstatic about every coin or set in a collection, there needs to be enough appealing items to consider taking on some of the less appealing items.
In the two recent examples that we mentioned above, both collections consisted of a number of pennies, nickels, clad coins (nickel-copper) and clad proof and mint sets. Outside of a few key dates, these items are among the slowest moving coins and sets in the industry. For example, we purchased a large collection of proof sets without packaging a few months back that are taking up a large amount of space in storage. We’ve been actively trying to sell these sets, and of this writing, have discounted them 35% without any takers.
Keep in mind that finding a buyer isn’t the extent of the work involved. Once we do find a buyer, which will hopefully be soon, we’ll still need to prepare an itemized spreadsheet and invoice, carefully pack up the items, which will likely consume four boxes, and incur shipping and insurance expenses. All of this will likely be done at a 5% margin on a very low value deal.
We share this example not to complain, but to provide our readers with some insight as to how a coin dealer may evaluate a coin collection. In other words, if you already have somewhat of a marginal coin collection and insist on the coin dealer purchasing the entire collection, you may be greatly reducing your chances of finding a coin dealer to work with.
On the other hand, if you have a coin collection consisting of some of the most popular items in the industry, such as bullion and proof gold eagles and buffaloes, pre-1933 U.S. gold coins, proof and bullion American silver eagles, 5 oz America the Beautiful silver coins, Morgan and Peace silver dollars, GSA Carson City silver dollars and American platinum and palladium eagles, then it’s not too much to expect a coin dealer to also purchase some of the less appealing items.
If you’re not very familiar with the market or have been out of coin collecting for a while, it may be a good idea to reach out to a coin dealer or two and gauge their potential interest before making all or nothing ultimatums.
This will turn off a coin dealer and if you find yourself having to go back to them because your approach hasn’t worked with anyone else, it can make for a humbling or even embarrassing situation. Furthermore, if a coin dealer gets the sense that you may be difficult to work with, you won’t be a priority for them, and in some cases, they may decide to pass altogether.
On the other hand, if you have a first-class collection consisting of some of the most sought-after numismatic rarities and bullion in the industry, you can afford to be more particular when searching for a coin dealer to sell your coin collection to. Just make sure you have a good understanding as to the type of collection you have before you begin your journey.
We do our best to provide our readers with insight that they may not receive anywhere else and hope that having some inside knowledge will help you in your approach. We always do our best to purchase as much of a coin collection as we possibly can and welcome you to contact us if you’re in the market to sell your coins or collection. If we’re not able to assist you, or purchase the entire collection, we’ll do our best to provide recommendations as to where and how to liquidate the remaining items.